Google Apps Integration Arrives in Zurmo 2.2

The makers of the Zurmo CRM platform have released a new version of the technology, a refresh focused on third-party app integrations that allow users to streamline their various Web applications with the Zurmo software.

Launched on Tuesday, Zurmo 2.2 comes equipped with Google Apps integration, allowing users to synchronize information about contacts, meetings and email conversations between their Google and Zurmo accounts.

For instance, if a client emails a Zurmo user on their Gmail account about a future order, the order information and the expected revenue can be plugged into Zurmo. In addition, an archived version of the correspondence between the user and that client will be stored under their contact information in Zurmo. The integration also allows the Gmail user to create new contacts in Zurmo based on information from emails.

Users are also able to sync their Google Calendars with their Zurmo information. So, if a Zurmo user’s contact is starting a new business in one year and will need new parts three months from now, the user can set a reminder both in Zurmo and their Google calendar to reach out to that person when the time comes.

Keeping an Eye on Clients

The latest Zurmo update also contains Google Web tracking capabilities, which the company said can help customers develop their sales and marketing strategies. Now, Zurmo users will be able to install a Google Analytics tracker that would let them see what pages their registered customers visit. Users can become registered by filling out an online contact form on the Zurmo user’s site, for example. That contact form could contain a cookie with a unique ID that corresponds to the Zurmo user’s CRM.

Using the Google Analytics tracker, that Zurmo user could then see if that particular user has been scanning their site to check out prices on a certain part, for instance. The Zurmo user then knows what the customer is in the market for and could then message that client directly to chat about a potential sale.

The overall information about what consumers are searching for within a Zurmo user’s site can also give the company a better idea about upcoming consumer demand, said Zurmo.

“The Google Web tracking capability is a really interesting feature, and it will indeed shed new light on customers and what they’re interested in,” CRM journalist Chris Bucholtz told CRM buyer. “You may also detect opportunities where customers are inclined toward becoming more engaged with you.”

Too Much of an Eye?

The new analytics abilities do come with their own set of challenges, though, Bucholtz added. For one, some companies could have internal policies against how they use cookies, and might not be able to rely on the Web tracking ability as much as Zurmo hopes. It’s also important that the Google Web tracking integration doesn’t shed so much light on customers that it becomes invasive.

“Exposing what you know about the user in Google in the wrong way is going to freak some customers out,” Bucholtz noted. “The Web form that customers complete in order to download the cookie needs to be clearer than crystal about what it enables the Zurmo users to collect, because otherwise customers are going to be weirded out.”

There is a thin line between accommodating and alarming customers, and navigating that will be a crucial part of the CRM business going forward, said Trip Chowdhry, senior analyst for Global Equities Research.

“The fundamentals of CRM are evolving and that means being able to use Big Data and analytics to anticipate customer need,” Chowdhry told CRM Buyer, “but companies are still working to figure out exactly how to do that, and it’s a process.”

Part of that process should be the right training for sales and marketing forces so they can expand their company’s platform without alienating customers, said Bucholtz.

“It’s a bit scary to be the first to use newly available types of data, because more than likely you’ll be the first one who makes a mistake with it,” he pointed out.

“This is an area where vendors who provide this type of sales intelligence should work hard to act as advisors to their customers and think through the do’s and don’ts of using data like this,” Bucholtz suggested, “and provide ample content, consulting and counseling around it. Otherwise, their customers end up discovering the do’s and — more painfully, the don’ts — on their own.”

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